History in Structure

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

The Spanish Barn, Torre Abbey

A Grade I Listed Building in Torquay, Torbay

More Photos »
Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 50.4633 / 50°27'48"N

Longitude: -3.541 / 3°32'27"W

OS Eastings: 290722

OS Northings: 63746

OS Grid: SX907637

Mapcode National: GBR QV.X7VN

Mapcode Global: FRA 37GT.Y06

Plus Code: 9C2RFF75+8J

Entry Name: The Spanish Barn, Torre Abbey

Listing Date: 20 November 1952

Last Amended: 3 May 1994

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1280012

English Heritage Legacy ID: 390823

Location: Tormohun, Torbay, TQ2

County: Torbay

Electoral Ward/Division: Tormohun

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Torquay

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Torre All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Tagged with: Barn

Find accommodation in



885-1/17/252 (East side)
20/11/52 The Spanish Barn, Torre Abbey
(Formerly Listed as:
Tithe Barn of Torre Abbey)


Monastic barn. Date uncertain. Masonry could be as early as
C13. Present roof construction appears to be largely late C15,
although thoroughly repaired in the 1930s, but may be a
replacement of an earlier roof. Local red sandstone and grey
limestone rubble; slate roof gabled at ends.
PLAN: Sited south-west of the C14 gatehouse, on an
approximately west-east axis. 16 bays with opposed porches in
the centre bay.
EXTERIOR: Impressively large with 10 buttresses with batters
to each side and 3 at each end, the centre buttresses at each
end taller. Gabled porches, each with buttresses flush with
the front wall. Coped gables to main block and porches, which
have flattened tops. Porches have large segmental-headed
doorways and sections of alternating red sandstone and white
freestone quoins. The north side has small arched doorways
between buttresses 3 and 4 and 7 and 8 (counting from the
east), the eastern doorway has an opposed doorway on the south
side. 4 slit breathers to each long side, deeply splayed on
their internal faces. The north porch has a small
segmental-headed doorway on the east return, the south porch
has similar doorways on both returns. East end has 3 slit
breathers, west end has 2. Plank doors with strap hinges and
door furniture of an C18 character.
INTERIOR: Loft removed in the 1930s, the slots for the beam
ends survive, high in the walls. 17 arch-braced trusses, the
end trusses close to the end walls. Peculiar method of seating
trusses onto wall tops, possibly dating from the 1930s. The
principal rafters sit on the wall tops. Towards the front face
of the wall, a wallplate, flush with the top of the wall and
its front, into which the feet of the arch braces are fixed.
The wall-plate appears to be entirely renewed or perhaps a new
1930s design. The trusses are bound with iron straps. 4 tiers
of threaded purlins; ridge-piece (the latter possibly 1930s);
some original rafters. The inner opening of each porch is
spanned by a chamfered, step-stopped lintel. On the north
side, 2 stone corbels are visible in the masonry below the
existing lintel. 1930s black and red clay tile floor includes
inscription dating the barn to the C12 and recording that it
was used to house prisoners in 1588 when the Nuestra Senora
del Rosano, one of the vessels of the Spanish Armada and the
flagship of the Andalusian Squadron was captured by Drake and
brought ashore.
Possibly the earliest surviving barn in Devon. The curator of
Torre Abbey has photographs of the barn prior to the removal
of the loft in the 1930s and showing that the existing roof is
a repair, not a 'reconstruction' (Pevsner) of the pre-1930s
(Buildings of England: Pevsner N and Cherry B: Devon: London:
1952-1989: P.854).

Listing NGR: SX9072263746

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.